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SCUTTLEBUTT 1266 - February 20, 2003

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"BITTERLY DISAPPOINTED"
As twelve knots of breeze swept down the course on a grey afternoon on the
Gulf, the decision to abandon racing for the day surprised many. Although
the wind strength was sufficient, the breeze was considered to be too
shifty to set a meaningful course and race officer Harold Bennett signaled
a postponed shortly after 1pm.

The postponement remained for two hours, after which Bennett radioed both
teams to ask whether they were happy to wait beyond the 3.30pm deadline.
Team New Zealand's navigator Mike Drummond responded almost immediately
stating that they felt that conditions were unlikely to be suitable.
Alinghi pointedly did not respond, no doubt choosing to put pressure on
Team New Zealand.

A few minutes later, Bennett stated once again that he needed agreement
from the teams that he should extend the deadline beyond the 3.30pm. This
time TNZ responded saying that they were not happy to race after 3.30.
After Bennett relayed the decision, Alinghi eventually responded with Brad
Butterworth stating that they were, 'Bitterly disappointed.' - Matthew
Sheahan, Yachting World website, full story:
http://www.yachting-world.com/yw/home.htm

CONFLICT OF INTEREST
As an employee and member of RNZYS, the yacht club that Team New Zealand
represents, (principal race officer Harold) Bennett has a built-in conflict
of interest in his role as the one who decides whether races should start,
but there were no complaints from Alinghi with today's decision.

TNZ, with its radical hula hull appendage, is thought to have a
disadvantage in lighter winds against Alinghi, and today's winds were in
the lighter range. When asked before the finals started whether he would
follow objective standards on whether to race, Bennett declined to do so.
The veteran race officer said only that conditions must be fair and safe
for a race to begin.

During the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series, races were started if the
wind stayed above seven knots and below 19 knots for five minutes before
the start; anything under or over required a postponement. Today's breezes
were light, from five to eight knots, at 1:15 p.m. when the race was
scheduled to start, but picked up within an hour. Alinghi and Team New
Zealand both warmed up under full sail showing plenty of speed, and flags
on spectator craft stood horizontal in the wind.

Ian Walker, skipper of the British team in challenger racing, said the
winds looked adequate. "It's shifty but we've got breeze and the breeze
always shifts, so get on with it," he said. Added Stuart Streuli, senior
editor of the U.S. sailboat racing magazine Sailing World, "It seems steady
enough to go racing, and there's definitely enough wind." - Angus Phillips,
The Washington Post, full story:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31401-2003Feb19.html

SCORE ANOTHER FOR SAMSON'S PROGEN!
Samson Rope Technologies congratulates Alex Geremia and Scott Harris for
their Farr 40 class-winning performance at 2003 Key West Race Week. Using
running rigging from Easom Rigging in Point Richmond, CA, Crocodile Rock
was named a Boat of the Day winner. Scott Easom provided the Samson rigging
package that included a Progen centerline halyard. Insiders report that the
running rigging package had been used in races prior to Key West Race Week.
Winners continue to race with Samson 24 Strand cover with Color Match
cores. Samson - First in Innovation, First across the line!
http://www.samsonrope.com/home/newrecmarine/index2.cfm

CHANGING TIMES
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia today confirmed that the Overall
Winner of the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race would be the first yacht
on corrected time in the IMS (International Measurement System) handicap
category. At the same time, the CYCA said it had decided that boats with
water ballast that obtain an IMS Rating Certificate would be eligible to
compete in the IMS handicap category.

The CYCA move follows the adoption by the Ocean Racing Council, the world
governing body of ocean racing, of an Australian Yachting Federation
submission to permit water ballast in regular IMS racing where included by
a race organiser. Until now, the IMS rule has not accommodated water
ballasted boats although they are able to compete in IRC (International
Rule Club 2000) and, from the 2002 year, in the PHS (non rating) division.

Rear Commodore Roger Hickman said the Ocean Racing Council's International
Technical Committee was also working closely on the issue of canting keels,
which are presently accepted in the IRC Club rule. The ORC's present view
is that reasonable assessment of canting keel yachts for regular IMS,
including their unusual appendage configuration, would require more study
during 2003. - Peter Campbell

J/22 MIDWINTER'S
Southern YC, New Orleans, LA - Conditions for Legg Mason J/22 Midwinter's
were near perfect for the 3 day event in the "Big Easy" with winds in the
12-22 knot range. Fifty-six teams from around the US made the trip to the
annual event for the title. Final results: 1. Terry Flynn, Houston, TX 12
points 2. Scott Nixon, Annapolis, MD 17; 3. Zak Famberg, New Orleans, LA
30; 4. Greg Fisher, Arnold, MD 40; 5. Dwight LeBlanc, New Orleans 44; 6.
Jeff Johnstone, Newport, RI 52. Complete results:
http://www.southernyachtclub.org/

JULES VERNE TROPHY
* GERONIMO: Her 38th day at sea has been another good one for the Cap
Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran, with 545 nautical miles covered at
an average speed of 22.70 knots. The present north north-westerlies are
allowing Oliver de Kersauson and his crew to plot a direct course south
towards Cape Horn, driven by wind speeds of between 37 and 42 knots,
gusting to 45. Now just 537 nautical miles from Cape Horn, Geronimo should
round it the end of tomorrow afternoon. http://www.grandsrecords.com

* KINGFISHER2 hit a submerged object at high speed in the Southern Ocean.
Skipper Ellen MacAurthur said, "During the night suddenly there was a load
bang, and the boat shuddered. We had hit something with the starboard
rudder. We slowed the boat down to check, and we've a little repair to do
on the fixings but it appears not to be a major problem, thankfully. We
don't know what it was but hitting any object at speed is always a concern."

Kingfisher2 Day 20 Summary (http://www.teamkingfisher.com):
- 0 hours 30 minutes behind Orange
- 50 hours 25 minutes behind Geronimo
- Day 20 (24 hour run): Kingfisher2- 463 nm, Orange- 500 mn, Geronimo- 415 nm
- Distance to go: Kingfisher2- 17107 nm, Orange- 17099 nm, Geronimo- 16301 nm

CREW CHANGES
Team New Zealand called up Frenchman Bertrand Pace in a bid to grab their
first America's Cup win in their vital fourth race against Alinghi. Skipper
Dean Barker has dropped his long-time sailing partner Hamish Pepper to make
way for Pace in the afterguard. Pace, from Dunkirk, will sail in a tactical
role, rather than in his more accustomed position as helmsman. Pepper, 31,
appears to have paid the price for two tactical errors which cost Team New
Zealand the second and third races against Alinghi. - Helen Tunnah,
www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

SAILING PROGRAMS
A record number of sailing instructors, coaches and program directors
battled cold weather and an unexpected snow storm to be in Annapolis,
Maryland, February 5-9 to attend US Sailing's National Sailing Programs
Symposium (NSPS), sponsored by Vanguard Sailboats. More than 230 people
attended, which is 20% more than the previous year, and more than half of
the attendees were there for the first time.

US Sailing organizes the annual event to encourage people involved in
sailing programs at any level to share ideas and learn more about sailing
programs and instruction through seminars, meetings and networking.
Sessions covered a wide range of subjects, including how to encourage
teenagers to stay in a sailing program, sailing opportunities for people
with disabilities, and how to run a community sailing program. Seminars
were led by various notable speakers from across the country. Participants
also visited Annapolis-area sailing programs and schools.

The Marty Luray Award, named for journalist Marty Luray who was a
courageous promoter of public access sailing, was given to Dave Rayner for
making great strides in furthering public access to sailing programs. The
Captain Joe Prosser Award for excellence in sailing instruction was awarded
to Bill Fox and the Chicago Yacht Club. And the Sail Training Service and
Support Award in honor of Virginia Long was presented to Larry White,
president of the Interscholastic Sailing Association. - Marlieke de Lange
Eaton, www.ussailing.org

AROUND ALONE
The Southern Ocean is beginning to roar. After a moderate start to Leg 4,
the weather has turned more typical and there are reports of gale force
winds and big, uneven seas. "This is the Southern Ocean I remember," wrote
Emma Richards on Pindar. "The seas are mountainous and from varying
directions so there is no gentle swell; just masses of fast moving peaks.
They keep breaking so everything is white, in fact the water is so aerated
I am sure that the boat is sitting lower in the water than usual." The
leading yachts are under 1,500 miles from Cape Horn. With the current
speeds they should round the legendary landmark in just under a week.

STANDINGS: 2200 UTC February 19 CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux,
Bernard Stamm, 4204 miles from finish 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois 135
miles behind leader; 3. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 280 mbl; 4. Tiscali, Simone
Bianchetti, 307 mbl; 5. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 434 mbl 6. Pindar, Emma
Richards, 488 mbl.

CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 4898 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 389 mbl; 3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro
Shiraishi, 539 mbl; 4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 828 mbl; 5. Spirit of
Canada, Derek Hatfield, 1133 mbl. - www.aroundalone.com

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NEWS BRIEFS
* The America's Cup television audience in Switzerland is remarkable,
especially considering many people have to turn their on their TV sets at
1:15 in the morning. There was 28.3% of total viewers for Race 1, and 63.1%
of total viewers spectators for Race 2. The Alinghi website has experienced
exponential increase of web traffic. Hundreds of support messages from
Switzerland and all over the world flood in every day. The daily orders in
the E-shop has doubled since the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals.

* The 2003 Acura SORC, (February 26 - March 2), in Miami Beach, FL, has
extended its entry deadline to allow for registration through February 26.
Skippers can register on-line: www.acurasorc.com

FOR THE RECORD
Steve Fossett and his crew of 12 aboard the 125' catamaran PlayStation are
making good progress across the Atlantic. in their attempt to set an new
East - West TransAtlantic sailing record from Cadiz - Canaries -Bahamas
along the Christopher Columbus Route. In order to avoid the light winds
attached to a high pressure system, their course has taken them over 650
miles south of that taken by Bruno Peyron and Grant Dalton who co-skippered
the 110' Club Med in June of 2000, setting the existing record. To break
that record, Steve and crew will need to reach Columbus' landfall - the
island of San Salvador - by Tuesday at 14.44.24 GMT - an average of 14.66
kts for their remaining 2330 miles to destination. -
http://www.fossettchallenge.com/


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com)
(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be
edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. This is not a chat room or a
bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best
shot and don't whine if others disagree.)

* From Vince Cooke, Regatta Operations Director, Louis Vuitton Cup 2000:
The more obvious it becomes that Alinghi is going to take the Cup to
Switzerland, the louder becomes the whining and defaming commentary,
directed of course at Russell Coutts. If the charge of treason is to be
levied, as one commentator suggested, it should be directed at those who
ran the trust and owned the team in 2000, i.e., Richard Green, John Lusk,
Sir Peter Blake and the others. They failed in their stewardship of the Cup
to recognize and polish the personnel gems they had in their possession.

Coutts and Butterworth are demonstrating what was cavalierly lost or
overlooked by the former trustees and/or owners. Underpaid for their talent
and contribution to the prestige of NZ, forced to deal with confrontation,
their requests for examining the financials ignored, C & B were left to
choose between their future livelihood and a country that is known for its
inability or unwillingness to compensate their best, not only in sport, but
in science and other endeavors as well. C & B are not the first who found
their way to the top of their profession only to have to leave NZ for
greener pastures in terms of monetary compensation and recognition, nor
will they be the last. Point the finger of shame at Lusk and Green where it
belongs.

* From: Geoff Brieden (edited to our 250-word limit): I know it must be
hard for New Zealanders to see the America's Cup being swept away in such
decided fashion, but I don't understand why New Zealanders continue to
degrade both Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth. These are two of the true
gems that have come out of this small island paradise and put it on the
international map, not only for sailing, but for tourism as well. They are
two very key reasons why New Zealand even had the eight years as reigning
AC champs that they had. They have brought economic boom to Auckland and
put the country on the sailing map. Yet all we hear is how they are
traitors and should be vilified. Please, New Zealanders, realize what you
have and applaud their efforts, not only for what they have brought to your
fine country, but for taking on this challenge as well and being fine
ambassadors for New Zealand and Kiwi-bred sailing.

Team New Zealand losing the cup is not the fault of Coutts and Butterworth.
Afterall, TNZ had the 2000 cup winning boats and all of its design info to
start from. Decrying the fact that TNZ didn't have as much money as the
"billionaires" is pointless. TNZ knew the hand it was dealt from the very
end of the last cup, and couldn't pull it off. A great effort for sure, but
please carry defeat in grace and don't try to blame others for the
shortcomings of TNZ.

* From Robert Johnston: Mathieu Truffer, a Swiss journalist covering the
Cup, quietly exploded another current Cup myth in an article for the
February 17 NZ Herald, "Close to an afternoon on a lake". Forget the jokes
about Cup boats on the Lake of Geneva, cowbells and cuckoo clocks - That's
not all Coutts and Butterworth got. When they went with Bertarelli they got
a lot more than money out of the deal. Around the Lake of Geneva, some of
the world's best organizational skills and one of the world's best
engineering and equipment manufacturing infrastructures were put at their
dispoal. Swiss money management and engineering are very bit as focused and
skilled as the sailing team, and like the sailing team, it shows.

* From: Mark Steinbeck Ed Sherman asks, "When has there been an AC race
where both skippers are from the same country?" Gosh, you would have to
back more than 10 years to find that happening. American Paul Cayard
skippered the challenger Il Moro vs defender America3 (Bill Koch or Buddy
Melges - take your pick) in the 1992 match in San Diego.

* From Zvi Ziblat Joe Sircely said,"...it seems to me an act of treason."
I am against censorship, but can't imagine any circumstance ever can
justify using a strong political word as "treason" in sport let alone in
sailing.

* From Lloyd Causey: Wes Oliver chides all of us who are skeptical about
the fairness of PRO Harold Bennett. Wes needs to know that we remember that
this was the man who refused to start races in wthe last America's Cup
three times when the wind was in the 7-9 knot range that many assumed would
have favored Prada. The outcry came from around the world. I will continue
to be skeptical until Harold shows different. Will he start another race in
the conditions that proved disastrous for Team N Z in Race 1? Time will tell.

* From Mark Gaudio: (With regard to Mr. Greene's comments in 'Butt #
1265): How can anyone call these IACC boats boring. This class of yachts
seem pretty zippy to me, and are majestic in their own way. They don't look
that easy to sail either, at least from my armchair. Could you imagine the
lack of tactics if the Cup were sailed in Cats?

Oh please, let's take our Indy 500 attitude and put it where the wind never
blows. Boat speed is one thing, but the tactics and decision making
involved is what separates us from the cavemen (or cavewomen). The last
time I saw a high performance cat do a dial up, go head to wind, then into
a jybe oh wait, I've never seen it happen!

* From Paolo Sheaffer: From my armchair here in Texas, it seems that in
1995, Team NZ had great 'A' and 'B' teams. In 2000, most of the 'A' team
stayed to defend, but the 'B' team had left to seek their fortunes with
overseas challenges. Now in 2003, The 'A' team is gone, the 'B' team is
gone, and soon, it seems, the Cup will be gone.

* From Bruce Cattanach: What I would give to hear Peter Montgomery call
those last 20 minutes of the 2nd AC race! Ed Baird and Peter were an
incredible team. The OLN whiners are now nowhere to be found.

* From Simon Cunnington: One does have to wonder whether the current
situation of having the only "back-up" helm as a Frenchman is putting Team
NZ into difficult situation. I does seem odd to have let Gavin Brady go to
Prada and then for his talents to be wasted. I wonder if the helm would of
been changed earlier if it was a Kiwi for Kiwi swap.

* From Peter Huston: With the addition of France's Bertrand Pace to the
TNZ afterguard, I guess we all know what "Loyal" really means in America's
Cup speak. Sort of like "Trust me" = "**** You!" Good on ya RNZYS, you had
us all believing you really meant what you said about this "Loyal" stuff.

* From Stephen Alexander: I think it's safe to assume that knowledgeable
racers everywhere now understand why the first change that needs to be made
in the America's Cup protocol is to insure that the defenders will never
again have the opportunity to select the Cup Race Committee.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you're
still a rat.